• Tony Richards

The Power of Affiliation

People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. Even moreso, they love to affiliate. I am often asked by my clients how to get people to purchase their products and services, especially since we have two other companies in which that is their entire focus. The whole process of getting products and services to the marketplace, examining people’s hot buttons and innovating business is called marketing.

Let’s examine three things. Features. Advantages. Benefits.

Features are the tangible components of the product or service.

Advantages are the results you hope to produce.

Benefits are the emotional experiences produced by those features and advantages. This is the key as to why people make choices.

Imagine this. What if every time a person purchased an SUV and drove it home, their entire neighborhood stood in front of their homes as you drove by and berated you because you chose to buy that particular vehicle? How would that experience make you feel? Pretty lousy, huh? You would feel a huge amount of disapproval from your friends and neighbors regarding your choice. What would happen to SUV sales?

People do not choose features or advantages. They choose emotional outcomes, many times based on the power of affiliation. What group does it put you in? Why do people buy Nike or Under Armor? It makes them affiliated with a powerful brand and they love the emotion they feel when they wear it. They want to “be like Mike”.

Remember, logic helps people understand it, but emotion causes them to act.

Think about this. What groups have you chosen to be a part? What moved you to choose that particular group? Therein lies the power of affiliation. Smart organizations know the power of affiliation sets them apart from other companies. This is propelled by having a strong culture which makes people feel they are a positive part of something bigger than themselves. A desired group and/or a winning team. The Waste Management Company has stated they do not market their company for outside marketing opportunities. They engage in these marketing opportunities simply so their employees will have pride and feel “that’s my company”! This is leveraging The Power of Affiliation.

The Power of Affiliation draws people to Social Media. Outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Google + continue to grow. Why? Because they provide easy ways for people to become affiliated with each other. They make being part of a desired group easy. When you combine simple, easy with desire and connection you get a growth expansion.

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